How to Balance Homeschooling and Homemaking
When talking with most homeschooling moms, one thing we often struggle with is balancing homeschooling and homemaking. We picture this ideal home where the floors are always shining, toys neatly displayed in toy bins, books arranged in a certain order on bookshelves and every room is free of dust and debris. Basically, we picture a model home ready for viewing and entertaining. We dream of well-mannered kids, excited to start the homeschool day, their minds like sponges soaking in knowledge of subjects ranging from math to science to geology. Unfortunately, these grandiose dreams and ideas often unravel. More often than not, it’s the homemaking that gets overlooked. Books are shoved on shelves, rooms are messier than we’d like, dust is collecting on ceiling fans and utter chaos ensues because a little one woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Apparently, math wasn’t what he had in mind today and multiplication is affecting his play time. Learning to balance homeschool and homemaking can be difficult!
Balance isn’t easy, but it can be done. It does take work through a team effort in order to obtain it! Our friends and family see us as this amazing super hero able to homeschool and keep everything in order. However, we must forget the super woman mentality and realize that it is okay that we need help. Our kids need to learn the important skills of keeping a home. Delegating duties is necessary in teaching our little ones to become productive members of the family. Assigning responsibilities aids in teaching independence. The home is a place everyone lives and everyone can have responsibility.
We also have to remember that Pinterest is pretty, but the perfection we see there doesn’t have to happen in our home every day. Sure, there are days when we really want to have our homes looking great. But, there are also days when babies decide to pull an all-nighter, toddlers spill their juice cups, or our older ones decide that sleep is a crutch. Though we try as hard as possible, our homes will look more like a tornado has gone through it. Add in sick kids (or sick Mama!), doctor appointments, grocery store runs and the endless mountain of errands, and we find ourselves keeping the blinds closed for fear that someone might see the disaster that lurks inside. Remember, Pinterest and the magazines are staged! Our homes are lived in and memories are being made.
It is okay to take a homeschool break and cut schooling short to get the house back in order. Think of it as a Teacher in Service Day, or PTA meeting with the vacuum. We must also realize our children sometimes struggle to learn and pay attention if the house is getting too messy. Take the day off from seat work and show your little ones how to match and fold socks. Give your little ones the task of cleaning the baseboards or teach them how to measure using that box of oats that have been stashed in the back of the pantry since the Bush Administration. Catch up on laundry and household tasks. Give your children the responsibility of putting away toys. The school work will still be there tomorrow and you and the home will be ready to handle it better!
Remember, we can’t do it all and do it all well. As you look over your list of things to accomplish, prioritize the list ensuring the “must do’s” get accomplished. On the flip side, if you see a heart that needs training, work on that. The little ones are your priority and it is us, the super heroes, that train our children in the way they should go so they never depart from it.
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